Yale's Photogrammar

Yale University has unveiled a new digital humanities tool, Photogrammar, that visualizes and organizes photographs taken during the 1930s and 1940s under the auspices of the Farm Security Administration and the administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The photographs serve as artifacts that document the yearning, despair, and humanity of Americans suffering from the effects of the Great Depression. Photogrammar allows its users to put identities and faces to American history, and reconstruct a fuller, more comprehensive understanding of what it was like to live during the Great Depression. Morning Edition, a NPR program, recently covered Photogrammar and spoke with the primary investigator of the project, Professor Laura Wexler. Professor Wexler remarks in the interview that one of the first actions users take when using the interactive map feature of the project is to look for photographs from their hometown. This observation demonstrates how digital humanities projects and tools can be both scholarly research and deeply personal as well. As exciting as the new and innovative technology is, it is important for digital humanists to remember the human of aspect of what we do. How will this resonate with our audience? What can our audience gain from this? How does this enhance our understanding of the world around us? The past, present, and future?   


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Updated Sep 25, 2014 by Digital Humanities Librarian